Two students wearing casual clothing and backpacks pose for a photo, embracing and smiling while standing in front of a fountain. Two students wearing casual clothing and backpacks pose for a photo, embracing and smiling while standing in front of a fountain.

Center for Behavioral Health Promotion and Applied Research

Enhancing Behavioral Health & Reducing Risk

The Center for Behavioral Health Promotion and Applied Research (CBHPAR) promotes the behavioral health of adolescents, emerging adults and college students by advancing innovative, evidence-based practices that address alcohol and other drug use, mental health risks, including suicide, and related concerns. 

The Center provides national leadership in translational research focused on college student behavioral health through intervention development, evaluation and dissemination efforts.  

We also teach and supervise undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate trainees, and engage with partners on campus, throughout the Capital Region, statewide and nationally. 

 

A Comprehensive Public Health Approach 

The center's team implements a comprehensive public health approach to deliver prevention and intervention programs at various levels, including universal strategies at the population level, early intervention strategies for potentially at-risk groups and individuals, and indicated strategies for individuals who may benefit from treatment, referrals or consultation services. 
 

  • Behavioral Health Promotion to Optimize Health & Well-being 

    • Social norms campaigns 

    • Peer-facilitated prevention programs 

    • Active bystander programs 

    • Environmental management 
       

  • Early Interventions to Reclaim Health & Reduce Risk 

    • Screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT) 

    • Gatekeeper training programs
       

  • Specialized Treatment and Referral Services 

    • Treatment and referral services 

    • Victim Services 

    • Protocols and responses to urgent or emergent situations 

    • Linkages to community agencies and hospitals 

 

Contact CBHPAR 

For more information about our work or to partner with us, please contact our Director, Dr. M. Dolores Cimini, at [email protected] or 518-956-8471

The Center is located in the Catskill Building, Room 271, on the Uptown Campus. 

Research

With more than two decades of continuous grant funding totaling more than $10 million from federal, state, foundation and institutional sources, the Center for Behavioral Health Promotion and Applied Research (CBHPAR) has earned a reputation as an international leader in translational research focused on college students and young adults.  

The Center's research focuses on a broad range of issues within the field of college student behavioral health.  

Our staff administers surveys on priority topic areas, including high risk alcohol and drug use, mental health and well-being, suicide prevention, and sexual assault and violence prevention. 

Faculty and students contribute to our research initiatives by developing and evaluating our programs, which include: 

 

Selected Grants

Project ACCESS: Expanding and Enhancing a Comprehensive, Coordinated Response to Student Suicide and Substance Use on a Large Public University Campus

This project aims to reduce the incidence of suicide, suicide attempts and other related risk factors, such as alcohol and other drug use, among UAlbany’s undergraduate and graduate students — with a special emphasis on high-risk and historically marginalized student populations, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning (LGBQ) students; transgender and gender-non-conforming (TGNC) students; students who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color; disabled students; and veteran students. 

Funder: Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services             

Award Amount: $306,000             

Project Dates: September 30, 2022, to September 29, 2025 

Principal Investigator: M. Dolores Cimini, PhD 

Project ACCESS: A Comprehensive HIV Prevention Navigator Program at a Large Public University

This project aims to provide timely, responsive HIV and substance use prevention navigator services to UAlbany undergraduate and graduate students from racial and ethnic minority groups at highest risk for HIV and substance use disorders. UAlbany is a large and diverse public university that offers access to academic excellence and career opportunities to students from the areas of New York State hardest hit by the HIV epidemic. 

Funder: Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 

Award Amount: $999,318             

Project Dates: August 31, 2021, August 30, 2026 

Principal Investigator: M. Dolores Cimini, PhD; Jessica L. Martin, PhD (Co-PI) 

The STEPS Program: Expanding and Enhancing a Comprehensive, Coordinated Response to Student Suicide and Substance Abuse on a Large Public University Campus

This project led to the development, implementation and evaluation of an interactive online gatekeeper training program that was designed to train faculty, staff and students to identify the warning signs for suicide, learn about campus, community and national support resources, and learn how to talk with students who may be in distress. 

This project also led to the enhancement, implementation and evaluation of the University’s existing evidence-based substance use screening and brief intervention (SBI) protocol for alcohol use. The protocol now includes concurrent screenings for depression, anxiety, marijuana use, the non-medical use of prescription drugs, and opioid use.  

Funder: Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services             

Award Amount: $306,000             

Project Dates: November 30, 2018, to November 29, 2021 

Principal Investigator: M. Dolores Cimini, PhD 

University at Albany Collegiate Recovery Program Enhancement Project

This project enhanced and evaluated UAlbany’s existing Collegiate Recovery Program (CRP) with a goal of promoting persistence and graduation for students in recovery. Focus areas included enhancing access to health and counseling care for students in recovery, providing educational opportunities and academic support to students in recovery, and expanding the network of campus and community services collaborating with the CRP. 

Funder: New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services 

Award Amount: $240,000     

Project Dates: September 30, 2018, to September 29, 2020 

Principal Investigator: M. Dolores Cimini, PhD 

University at Albany Alcohol and Other Drug Environmental Prevention Grant

This project aimed to enhance and evaluate the University at Albany’s comprehensive prevention program addressing alcohol and other drug misuse among students. Focus areas included the enhancement of the University’s campus-community coalition, as well as the expansion of efforts in screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT). 

Funder: New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services 

Award Amount: $655,000         

Project Dates: July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2022 

Principal Investigator: M. Dolores Cimini, PhD

Project PHARM: Personalized Health Assessment Related to Medications

This project aimed to develop, implement and evaluate the efficacy of screening and brief intervention for the non-medical use of stimulants, as well as co-occurring marijuana and alcohol use, at nine colleges and universities across the United States. 

Funder: National Institute on Drug Abuse 

Award Amount: $460,703         

Project Dates: September 1, 2015, to August 31, 2021 

Principal Investigator: M. Dolores Cimini, PhD 

Selected Publications

Articles

Fossos-Wong, N., Litt, D. M., King, K. M., Kilmer, J. R., Fairlie, A. M., Larimer, M. E., ... & Lewis, M. A. (2021). Behavioral willingness, descriptive normative perceptions, and prescription stimulant misuse among young adults 18-20. Substance Use & Misuse, 1-8. 

Kilmer, J. R., Fossos-Wong, N., Geisner, I. M., Yeh, J. C., Larimer, M. E., Cimini, M. D., & Arria, A. M. (2021). Nonmedical use of prescription stimulants as a “Red Flag” for other substance use. Substance Use & Misuse, 56(7), 941-949. 

Mun, E. Y., Li, X., Lineberry, S., Tan, Z., Huh, D., Walters, S. T., Zhou, Z., Larimer, M. E., & in Collaboration with Project INTEGRATE Team (2021). Do Brief Alcohol Interventions Reduce Driving After Drinking Among College Students? A Two-step Meta-analysis of Individual Participant Data. Alcohol and alcoholism (Oxford, Oxfordshire), agaa146. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1093/alcalc/agaa146. 

Martin, J. L., Cimini, M. D., Longo, L., M., Sawyer, J. S. Ertl, M. M. (2020). Equipping mental health professionals to meet the needs of substance-using clients: Evaluation of an SBIRT training program. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 14, 42–51. 

Arria, A. M., Geisner, I. M., Cimini, M. D., Kilmer, J. R., Caldeira, K. M., Barrall, A. L., & Lee, C. M. (2018). Perceived academic benefit is associated with nonmedical prescription stimulant use among college students. Addictive Behaviors, 76, 27-33. 

Arria, A. M., Caldeira, K. M., Vincent, K. B., O'Grady, K. E., Cimini, M. D., Geisner, I. M., Kilmer, J.R., & Larimer, M. E. (2017). Do college students improve their grades by using prescription stimulants nonmedically? Addictive behaviors, 65, 245-249.  

Cimini, M.D., Monserrat, J.M., Sokolowski, K.L., Dewitt-Parker, J.Y., Rivero, E.M., & McElroy, L.A. (2015). Reducing high-risk drinking among student-athletes: The effects of a targeted athlete-specific brief intervention. Journal of American College Health, 63(6), 343-352. DOI: 10.1080/07448481.2015.1031236. 

Rivero, E. M., Cimini, M. D., Bernier, J. E., Stanley, J. A., Murray, A. D., Anderson, D. A., & Wright, H. R. (2014). Implementing an early intervention program for residential students who present with suicide risk: a case study. Journal of American College Health, doi: 10.1080/07448481.2014.887574. 

Cimini, M. D., Rivero, E. M., Bernier, J. E., Stanley, J. A., Murray, A. D., Anderson, D. A., &  Bapat, M. (2014). Implementing an Audience-Specific Small-Group Gatekeeper Training Program to Respond to Suicide Risk among College Students: A Case Study. Journal of American College Health, 62(2), 92-100. 

Martens, M. P., Martin, J. L., Littlefield, A. K., Murphy, J. G., & Cimini, M. D. (2011). Changes in protective behavioral strategies and alcohol use among college students. Drug and Alcohol Dependence

Martens, M. P., Hatchett, E. S., Martin, J. L., Fowler, R. M., Fleming, K. M., Karakashian, M. A., & Cimini, M. D. (2010). Does trait urgency moderate the relationship between parental alcoholism and alcohol use? Addiction Research and Theory, 18, 479-488. doi: 10.3109/16066350903145064. 

Cimini, M. D., Martens, M. P., Larimer, M. E., Kilmer, J. R., Neighbors, C., & Monserrat, J. M. (2009). Assessing the effectiveness of peer-facilitated interventions addressing high-risk drinking among judicially mandated college students. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. 16, 57-66.

Books & Book Chapters

Cimini, M.D. &Martin, J.L., (In press). Addressing substance use in clinical assessment and treatment. In APA Handbook of Psychotherapy. Washington: APA Books. 

Cimini, M.D. & Martin, J.L., Eds. (2020). Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment: A Practitioner’s Guide. Washington: APA Books. 

Cimini, M.D. & Rivero, E.M., Eds. (2018). Promoting Behavioral Health and Reducing Risk among College Students: A Comprehensive Approach. New York: Routledge. 

Cimini, M.D. (2016). The experience of disability: sociocultural and psychological factors. In Anderson, D.A., Further Wellness Issues for Higher Education. New York: Routledge. 

Baille, S.K., Kilmer, J.R., & Cimini, M.D. (2015). Health, wellness, and alcohol: reaching students through education and intervention. In Anderson, D.A., Wellness Issues for Higher Education. New York: Routledge Press, Inc. 

Cimini, M.D. & Rivero, E.M. (2013). Postvention as a Prevention Tool: Developing a Comprehensive Campus Response to Suicide and Related Risk. New Directions for Student Services: Wiley Periodicals, Inc.  

Research Partnerships 

Our team regularly publishes research in peer-reviewed journals, presents at national and international conferences, and serves as manuscript and grant proposal reviewers.

We have also partnered with UAlbany’s Office of Institutional Research, Planning and Effectiveness on campus-wide research projects. 
 

Conferences

We have presented at conferences sponsored by the following organizations: 

  • American Psychological Association  

  • American College Health Association 

  • Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies 

  • New York State College Health Association 

  • NASPA: Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education 

  • Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery 

  • Association for Recovery in Higher Education 

  • National Prevention Network 

  • New York State Department of Health 

  • New York State Office of Mental Health 

  • Research Society on Alcoholism

Manuscript Review

We have served as manuscript reviewers for the following journals: 

  • Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 

  • Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 

  • Journal of American College Health

  • Journal of Behavioral Addictions 

  • Addictive Behaviors 

  • Eating Behaviors 

  • Substance Use and Misuse 

  • European Journal of Psychological Assessment 

  • Journal of Counseling Psychology 

  • Addiction Research and Theory 

  • Journal of Prevention and Health Promotion

Grant Proposal Review

We have served as grant proposal reviewers for the following agencies: 

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism 

  • National Institute on Drug Abuse 

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Mental Health Services 

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Substance Abuse Prevention 

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Substance Abuse Treatment 

  • U.S. Department of Education

  • National Collegiate Athletic Association

Academic Partnerships

The Center partners with UAlbany faculty in various ways, including: 

  • Delivering guest lectures in academic classes 

  • Facilitating workshops for students and teaching assistants 

  • Supporting class projects to serve the community 

  • Collaborating on campus-wide initiatives, such as World AIDS Day  

  • Providing students with internships and/or field placement opportunities 

 

National & Statewide Partnerships 

The Center collaborates with several state and federal agencies, professional groups and nationwide organizations. Our team serves on advisory committees and expert panels, as well as in leadership positions and special projects.  
 

National Organizations and Federal Agencies

We have collaborated with the following national organizations and federal agencies:  

  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism 

  • National Institute on Drug Abuse 

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Mental Health Services 

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Substance Abuse Prevention 

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Substance Abuse Treatment 

  • Drug Enforcement Administration 

  • Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery 

  • U.S. Department of Education 

  • The Jed Foundation 

  • National Collegiate Athletic Association 

  • America East Athletic Conference 

Statewide Organizations

We have collaborated with the following statewide organizations: 

  • New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports 

  • SUNY System Administration 

Professional Organizations

We have collaborated with the following professional organizations: 

  • American Psychological Association  

  • American College Health Association 

  • New York State College Health Association 

  • NASPA: Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education 

  • Association for Recovery in Higher Education 

  • New York State Department of Health 

  • New York State Office of Mental Health

Program Awards

Our STEPS Comprehensive Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention Program is a nationally recognized prevention program. The program is designed to help college students reduce the frequency and quantity of their alcohol use. 
 

About the STEPS Program

The three versions of the STEPS program were designed to meet the distinct, complex needs of three groups of college students who engage in high-risk drinking:  

  • first-year students (Project First STEPS) 

  • student athletes (Project Winning STEPS)  

  • students seeking primary health and mental health care on campus (Project Health STEPS) 

The STEPS program was developed based on the Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS) model.  

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Evidence-Based Practices Resource Center reviewed the STEPS program and added it to their searchable compendium of evidence-based mental health and substance abuse interventions in 2014. 

Note: The Resource Center was formerly known as the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP). 

The STEPS program has also won these national awards: 

  • 2009 Grand Gold Medal for Excellence, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) 

  • 2009 Gold Award for Excellence in Health and Counseling Services, NASPA 

  • 2009 Best Practices in College Health Award, American College Health Association (ACHA) 

  • 2009 “Pioneer in Prevention” Exemplary Award, SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention and National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD) 

  • 2009 Science and Service Award, SAMHSA  

  • 2010 Innovation in Behavioral Health Care Services Award, State Associations of Addiction Services (SAAS) and NIATx 

  • 2009 Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Model Program, U.S. Department of Education 

  • 2011 CAPT Service to Science Mini Subcontract to Enhance Program Evaluation, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, SAMHSA 

Related Publications: 

Martens, M. P., Rocha, T. L., Cimini, M. D., Díaz-Myers, A., Rivero, E., & Wulfert, E. (2009). The Co-Occurrence of Alcohol Use and Gambling Activities in First-Year College Students. Journal of American College Health, 57(6), 597- 602. 

Martens, M.P., Cimini, M.D., Barr, A.R., Rivero, E.M., Vellis, P.A., Desemone, G.A. & Horner, K.J. (2007). Implementing a Screening and Brief Intervention for High-Risk Drinking in University-Based Health and Mental Health Care Settings: Reductions in Alcohol Use and Correlates of Success. Addictive Behaviors, 32, 2563-2572.  

Project ACCESS

Where Opportunity Meets Hope

 

What is Project ACCESS? 

College students from minoritized backgrounds face significant health disparities, such as higher risks for substance use and HIV than non-minoritized students. These disparities pose challenges to students’ academic success, retention, graduation and transition to the workforce. 

Project ACCESS (Achieving College Completion through Engaged Support Services) aims to enhance the health and quality of life of our college students who have been minoritized and marginalized in society, opening doors to opportunity, success, health and enhanced quality of life through prevention navigation services, education and ongoing support. 

Project ACCESS is comprised of two flagship programs, both generously supported by grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

 

Project ACCESS at UAlbany

 

Project ACCESS: A Comprehensive HIV Prevention Navigator Program at a Large Public University

This project is supported by SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.  

This Project ACCESS flagship program aims to provide timely, responsive HIV and substance use prevention navigator services to UAlbany students who are experiencing inequities in health care access, are members of populations at highest risk for HIV and substance use, and hail from areas in New York State hardest hit by the HIV epidemic. 

The project uses a navigation approach. HIV Prevention Navigators and Peer Support Specialists, who have lived experience with substance use concerns and HIV, expedite access to services for students who are in greatest need of education and programs that support their health and resilience. 

Through Project ACCESS, we will help UAlbany students experiencing health disparities to access and take full advantage of higher education opportunities, such as supporting their retention and college completion, assisting with the transition to graduate study or the work force, and enhancing well-being and quality of life.

We will follow students engaged in Project ACCESS during their UAlbany undergraduate careers and assess changes in risk factors and factors that serve to support their health, well-being and success. 

 

Project ACCESS: Expanding and Enhancing a Comprehensive, Coordinated Response to Student Suicide and Substance Use and Abuse on a Large Public University Campus 

This project is supported by SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services. 

This Project ACCESS flagship program aims to reduce the incidence of suicide, suicide attempts and other related risk factors, such as alcohol and other drug use, among UAlbany’s undergraduate and graduate students. 

The project has a special emphasis on high-risk and historically marginalized student populations, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning (LGBQ) students; transgender and gender-non-conforming (TGNC) students; students who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color; disabled students; and veteran students. 

Our team will provide gatekeeper training to 200 individuals per year, provide educational presentations to at least 200 individuals per year, screen at least 200 students per year for problems related to mental health and substance use, and use student-drive social media efforts to disseminate prevention messaging across campus. 

Team

We are a vibrant, inclusive and diverse team of faculty and students committed to advancing translational research in behavioral health and improving quality of life for all people. 

If you are interested in joining our team, please contact our Director, Dr. M. Dolores Cimini, at [email protected] or 518-956-8471.

 

Faculty

Jessica L. Martin
Project ACCESS Project Manager and Evaluator; Research Fellow, Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology; & Senior Research Associate, The Research Foundation for SUNY

Students

Other Team Members

Dora
Seeing Eye Dog